Sorrento is one of the most popular destinations for international tourism, but not everyone, not even the most loyal tourists, are aware of some curious facts that we report in this article.
1. On New Year's Eve, a silhouette of iron depicting a donkey is burned with firecrackers, sparklers and other fireworks to welcome the New Year. It’s the tradition of the Ciuccio di Fuoco (Fire Donkey), which evokes the old tradition of lighting fires in the countryside to drive away the evil spirits.
2. Some years ago a pizza vending machine was installed in Sorrento, but after a year, after many controversies and disagreements, the council denied the permissions and the distributor has since disappeared.
3. The Sorrento peninsula is located at the center of the migratory routes of many birds species, including the exotic flamingos. For this reason, many areas of the peninsula have been converted in nature reserve, in order to protect the birds from poachers.
4. The Sorrento football team was promoted for a time in Serie B (the second division of the Italian football league) with the financial support of the industrialist and millionaire Achille Lauro, a native of the Sorrento peninsula, then mayor of Naples and President of Napoli football team. It is now playing in Serie D (the fourth division)
5. The tarantella folk dance, typical of Sorrento, now fallen into disuse, was initially linked to the celebrations in honor of Bacchus, and then to the phenomenon of tarantism, so named because peasant women claimed they were bitten by the tarantula when working in the fields and that their poison made them to dance erratically.
6. The paper as we know it today came to Amalfi for the first time in Europe from the Arab countries. The Sorrento and Amalfi Coast became famous for their mills, some of which are still in operation.
7. According to the legend the pastiera was created from the union of seven foods donated to the siren Partenope, each one of them with a specific meaning: the flour, as a symbol of wealth, the eggs, as a symbol of reproduction, the ricotta, symbol of abundance, the cooked grain, fusion between the vegetal and animal world, the orange blossom, scent of Campania, the spices, homage of Sorrento people, the sugar, symbol of the sweetness of the song of the siren.
8. Every night at Punta Campanella, according to the legend, there is the mysterious appearance of a ghost ship, which was sunk at the time of ancient Romans, perhaps by the sirens.
9. Still talking about ships, in March 1861 the ship Ercole disappeared off the coast of Capri with no trace. The passengers, including the revolutionary Ippolito Nievo, and the crew were never found. A diving expedition more than 100 years later did not lead to any result.
10. The typical transport in Sorrento is the carrozella (small carriage), that was essential for the first tourists on the Grand Tour at a time when Sorrento was not connected by train. The carriages were richly adorned and decorated and even now they are used to transport tourists.